Some aspects of modern life, such as women in leadership positions (not as many as there should be, actually) and an increasing number of men pushing strollers and taking children to school give the impression that our society is changing in leaps and bounds.
However, despite these encouraging signs, sometimes, from the most intimate conversations with my friends, come to light some beliefs that I would define medieval that still survive even in young women’s mentality.
The topic of the conversation was, of course, love and relationships and to my great surprise I realized that most of the participants in the chat (all in their 40s) took for granted that their partners would cheat on them, if they had the chance to. I have to admit that this statement really shocked me, not so much because of infidelity itself, which is unfair and humiliating, but because of the fact that a distinction of “gender” was made. These women stated that they wouldn’t swear to their partners’ faithfulness, implying that men are weaker than women before temptations.I wouldn’t have been shocked at all if the person who uttered that sentence were my grandmother (or even my mother!), but listening to women of my age justifying male promiscuity left me absolutely speechless.
One of the participants even went so far as to say “if you think that a man will never cheat on you, you are just fooling yourself!”. Oh, no, my dear, I dig my heels in on that sentence. I obviously know that being cheated on is a possibility: it is actually a situation that I have already experienced in the past. But if I started or carried on a relationship with that concept stuck in my head, it would be a bit like voiding my relationship of the commitment and dedication it needs to grow over time. I refuse to consider the suffering, the collapse of trust and the humiliation of betrayal inevitable.
What I especially dismiss is the concept that infidelity is part of the intrinsic nature of men. In my opinion it is highly disrespectful to consider the male gender as individuals moved by simple sexual impulses. It would be a bit like saying that all women are genetically predisposed to housework: if a man were to state this sentence he would be immediately severely criticized and his words would be considered sexist.
I believe that women have a very high responsibility in the evolution of our society: if we do not want egocentric and unfaithful men, we should be the first to be aware of our value, of the force that lays in our femininity, we should be the first to claim and ensure loyalty in our relationships.
We should focus on growing together, men and women, but to do so we have cherish what is important for us, to esteem ourselves and eradicate from our minds this division into genres when it comes to human values. If women finally break the chain, the male world will integrate concepts of deeper respect and understanding. Feminine consciousness can finally open the way, get rid of this cliché and stop preserving a model of a couple that has withstood time too long.
Cover picture by Fabrice Van Opdenbosch